The Division of Gastroenterology provides ongoing clinical trial therapies for a range of gastrointestinal disorders, gastrointestinal and liver cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, and advanced therapeutics.
The major focus of clinical hepatology research involves the treatment of viral hepatitis and treatment of a variety of liver disorders. Current trials include new therapeutic approaches to the management of liver cancer, fatty liver disease, hepatic encephalopathy, and hepatorenal syndrome. The recent development of potent hepatitis C protease and polymerase inhibitors has stimulated a global effort to eradicate this virus. Several novel agents, used alone or in combination with other antivirals, have contributed to a rapidly advancing area of clinical research. The section of Hepatology has been a pioneer in the trials in this area.
Recently the French-made FibroScan, a non-invasive alternative to liver biopsy, proved reliable in a national multi-center study that included Henry Ford Hospital. This research showed that FibroScan accurately assesses for the presence of cirrhosis in patients with both types of chronic viral hepatitis. The section of Hepatology currently utilizes fibroscan in both the clinical care of patients with liver disease and in clinical research.
Other divisional research protocols involve new therapeutics for patients following liver transplantation including new immunosuppressant agents as well as treatment for viral hepatitis.